Evidence given in Commodore
was composed of the following officers.
Comm. Jacob Jones, president. Lewis Warrington.
John Downes. Edmund P. Kennedy. Chas Morgan.
Foxall Parker. David Connor. John Sloat & Geo Storer.
I saw passed Midshipman
[Charles C.] Barton brought on board the Constitution and was told that he had
been wounded in a duel. he was placed in a cot on the starboard side of the main
deck between two guns. I held his leg
during a portion of the time that the Surgeon was performing the operation of
extracting the ball. Becoming fatigued I
was relieved by Midn [John Newland] Maffitt. Mr Barton appeared to suffer much pain, Shortly after he
was sent to the Shark. I did not see him
again until he went on shore, when I called on him at his boarding house in Smyrna..... There was a subscription taken up on board
the Constitution for some plate. the subscription
was begun in [Port] Mahon,
the plate purchased and brought on board at Lisbon.
it was placed on the berth deck that the crew might see it. the inscription was nearly the same as you
have read. I saw the plate in the main
deck cabin twice, once on the sideboard, once upon the table...... The animals were brought on board at Mahon and placed first
amidships. Lieutenant [Oscar] Bullus informed I had been ordered to take charge of the
main deck by the Commodore, previously I had been his aid. I requested to be relieved from the gun deck
and to be put on watch. The animals were
removed to stalls between the guns. There were 23 in all. Seven guns on the starboard side of the main deck
and the same number on the larboard were disabled. I left the deck and was placed upon
watch. This was the first afternoon out
[on the way home in late June 1838]. To
the best of my recollection the stalls were fastened to the trucks of the
cannon, the upper part being attached to the beams overhead........ We arrived in Hampton Roads and anchored
below fortress Monroe. The boats were then hoisted out. Shortly afterwards the animals were also hoisted
out. They were placed in the boats
alongside and then landed at a small village abreast of the ship. The stalls were then taken down. About 5 [6?] ock pm
the boats returned to the vessel. Many
of the men were very noisy and one of them was chasing the musicians about the
decks. I heard a noise on the berth deck
which I understood to arise from the men assaulting the master at arms he took refuge
in the wardroom. The men were throwing
the mess things about. They were ordered
up from below and went on the spar deck.
Toward night there was much fighting.
There were three men confined between the two forward carronades on the
star[boar]d side of the quarter deck. When
the hammocks were piped down these men were released by the crew from under a
sentinels charge and taken forward.
Later than this I observed a crowd of men rushing aft on the quarter
deck in pursuit of a negro named Ennis they were trying to strike him over the
head with a tub. Midn
Chas Wager, myself and another interfered and released him. The man was then placed between the wheel, double
ironed (This was to shield him from the fury of the crew) his head was cut and
bleeding. The uproar continued until
near eleven ock.
The men when I interfered to save Ennis appeared to be forcing him down
the hatchway while one was striking him.
This hatred of the black arose from his having sometimes previously cut
one of the crew.
The deck was very black
after the stalls were taken down, and was covered with a thick slimy filth. The stalls were taken forward Have no idea what became of them. Shortly after the men were released I saw Commodore
Elliott going forward accompanied by Lt Bullus. Myself and another followed him. We went on to the forecastle when Comm E stated to the crew that they had broken the
regulations of the ship and that they must take the men back where they had
found them. he said to them that
discipline must be preserved, that the ship should be taken up to Norfolk in the morning and
they should be discharged, that should the wind prove unfortunate a steamer had
been sent for to tow them up. The
prisoners that had been released by the crew were not taken back. The crew retreated when the Commo first approached them. the ship was noisy at the time. there were
several replies to the Commodore of "no no" They threatened Ennis. a man by the name of Birch crying out "Kill
the negro" I do not remember the
number of men employed at Mahon in taking charge of the animals, nor how long
they were so employed. There were 8 or 9
so occupied on board the frigate. They were
secured from watch but whether from quarters I cannot say. Commander [William] Boerums
speech to the men on the first of August was that the Commodore was pleased
with the conduct of the crew, that they had done their duty and were at liberty
to go on shore.
By the Accused ‑ Prior to the disturbance at Hampton, the men had done
their duty. I remained beside PM Barton during
the dressing of his wound until I became fatigued. his leg required to be held very firmly. Mr B. had a very small
room on shore, though I thought him very comfortably situated except as being
left alone. Consul [David] Offley is dead. I do
not know what his character for kindness to his own countrymen was. I thought him rather a stern man. I saw a subscription list for plate, but
whether it was the first or second I do not know. I think I saw but one. Cannot say how many signatures it had. I do not know the motives that induced the
men to make the present to Commodore Elliott.
The Carpenter superintended the putting up of the stalls. I do not remember the state of the tide when
we arrived at Hampton. The wind was fresh and fair. The wind was not ahead when we anchored nor do I
know that it was so afterwards. A large
portion of the men were intoxicated how many I cannot say. I do not know whether the three men confined
between the guns on the quarter deck were
of them had been very insolent to the boatswain. When i say confined
I mean that they were in irons. I cannot
say whether the men were or were not intoxicated at the time the Como was addressing them
on the forecastle. I did not hear them
tell the Como
that their times were out. I did not see
the Commodr & Lt Bullus
in consultation after they had left the men.
I saw no personal violence towards the officers. no orders were obeyed. I considered that the crew had possession of
the ship. What I mean by the saying the
crew had possession of the ship is that they did as they pleased and that there
was an end to all subordination. The
marines were not turned out to restore order.
Why I do not know. The times of
many of them were out. The following
morning the men were more orderly. When
we anchored abreast the hospital and were furling sail they cheered on the
yards without orders
The ship was got underweigh for Norfolk very well. I dont know that a
boat was sent for during the disorder at Hampton Roads, to set the men whose
times had expired on shore. I do not
know what officers had charge of the men during the landing of the
animals. I remained on board 17 or 18
days after her arrival at Norfolk
and until all the officers had left After the stalls
were taken down the decks were washed.
The vessel was in as good order when handed over to Capt Zantinger as vessels usually are when turned in to the dock
yard. The guns looked badly
A verbatim transcript from Volume IV of the Midshipman Edward C.
Anderson Papers in the Library of the University
of North Carolina
at Chapel Hill. The ship was at Smyrna
during November 1835‑January 1836.
The incidents with the animals and crew occurred during June‑August